Dr. Debali Mookerjea-Leonard, Coordinator
Phone: (540) 568-3751
The undergraduate minor in world literature provides students with a chance to study literature from Africa, Australasia, Latin America, Middle East, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia and a special interest area (Native America, African America, Asian America, Caribbean and sections of Continental Europe). By offering a broad yet substantial introduction to literatures produced beyond their traditional Anglo-American experience, the minor provides students with a bridge to new cultures and languages. Through a careful examination of literary traditions produced elsewhere, students will be encouraged to develop a clear understanding of the relationship between culture and literature as well as the capacity to think outside the parameters of their own cultural background.
Courses that contribute to this minor address both the cultural contexts from which the given works emerge and to which they respond, as well as the actual formal literary qualities of the works. By exploring various literary traditions, students will better understand how literature both reflects and interrogates culture. Students interested in the shape of tomorrow’s world will benefit from this exposure to a global perspective on human cultures. This is also good foundation for students aiming to study, especially comparative literature, at the graduate level.
The program is sponsored jointly by the Department of English and the Department of Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures (FLLC). The minimum requirement for a minor in World Literature is 21 credits with a least 9 credit hours drawn from each department. No prior foreign language training is assumed or required. English is the medium of instruction for courses offered by the Department of English. While English is also the medium of instruction (and translations are used) for many FLLC courses, FLLC also offers literature courses taught in other European languages. Students will be able to submit work for these courses in English with the permission of the instructor.
When designing their plan of study, students should note that the gateway course and one 200-level course in foreign languages and literatures can count toward general education or major requirements, but no other courses in the minor program can. Students must take course work from the FLLC component in two or more language-literatures (e.g., French and Spanish or German and Russian). The program coordinator and the head of each of the sponsoring departments will have a list of world literature courses at the time of registration.
Students should consult the program coordinator about new courses and appropriateness of topics of special studies/special topics courses. Some of these courses may include several sections per term (e.g., HUM 200. Great Works) and only those sections indicated in the schedule of classes will satisfy the world literature requirement.